Srikanth enters India Open final, Sindhu out

New Delhi,  While ace India shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth entered the final of the India Open, here on Saturday, Parupalli Kashyap and PV Sindhu crashed out after losing their respective semifinal matches.

Kashyap lost the contest to Denmark’s Victor Alexon 11-21, 17-21 in a 43-minute affair. On the other hand, Sindhu fought well but lost the match narrowly to He Bingjiao of China 21-23, 18-21 in 55 minutes.

Srikanth defeated China’s Huang Yuxiang 16-21, 21-14, 21-19 to enter the final of the tournament.

Earlier, in a riveting all-India encounter, 2015 champion Srikanth edged past Sai Praneeth 21-23, 21-11, 21-19 in 62 minutes, his third win in eight meetings over the former Swiss Open runner-up on Friday.

After Praneeth built an early lead of 5-2, Srikanth cut down on his errors and drew level at 13-13 only to concede an 18-14 advantage. The former champion did save three game points, but Praneeth held on to close out the game 23-21.

Though Praneeth raced to a 7-1 lead in the second game, it could not deter Srikanth who made a spirited comeback to inch ahead 15-11. He then won the next six points to take the game 21-11.

In the decider, Praneeth took a 13-10 lead, but Srikanth’s patience brought him back into contention. In a tense ending, Srikanth’s lob at 19-19 landed right on the backline to give him a match point, which he duly converted.

“After losing the first set and trailing 1-7 in the second, coming back to take a 8-7 lead was the turning point,” said Srikanth after the match.

“After 1-1, I gave him too many one stroke points and there were no rallies. I thought to build rallies and fight it out for every point and not to concede any easy point,” he said.

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